WARNING: If you haven't read books 1 & 2 of the Extreme Hauntings series, then you probably shouldn't read this review. Especially since it may contain spoilers!
D e t o u r 2 D e a t h by J.R. Turner
Release Date: 2/15/11 (e-book)
Publisher: Echelon Press
Pages: 205 (e-book)
Word Blurb: Deadly, ghastly, and bloodcurdling!
"There are worse things than death, but not at Marsden Memorial hospital.Dff: Dead Friends Forever and School's Out 4-ever - the first two books in the series - you'll see that I was undoubtedly a Raphael girl. Curse you, J.R. Turner!
Kaylee Hensler knows her best friend Davey is on the brink of death. She knows this because she's a psychic. When she flees the girl's reformatory her parents sent her to to get to him, she has no idea the special sort of hell waiting for her.
Reapers are collectors and they come in many forms. In Feverland, the world created by Davey's sickness, the red reaper goes by the name of Molok, an ancient evil with deep roots. In Shadowland, the dark side of the hospital, a black reaper promises torture and torment to lost souls. The white reaper is the most fearsome, giving Kaylee three days before he collects both her and Davey's soul.
Kaylee has one secret weapon, one she doesn't fully understand. Her abilities will be tested, her loyalty betrayed, and her love misplaced. No one escapes Death." Goodreads»»
In book one, Kaylee was just coming into her own as both an adolescent and into her freakin' kick-ass psychic/witchy powers. Book two, she grew stronger being that she was on her own - without much divine intervention, as well - throughout most of the book. And now, in book three, Kaylee's face-off with reapers definitely pushed her growth level up a notch or two! In reading this series, I have to say that I don't think I've ever felt such sympathy and compassion toward a heroine before. Kaylee's been put through some serious hell! Think about it, where would you be if you had to go off and kill demons, watch creepy-looking ghosts head your way to ask for help, have your parents think you're an awful lunatic, and to top it off, see your best friend begin the process of dying, all while trying to get rid of two bad reapers after the sickly and the souls of the dead?!! If it were me, they would've shipped me off to the loony bin because of psychotic break a long time ago! So, considering that Kaylee's been put through a lot and still comes out strong, I don't think I could ever stop loving her as heroine of this series. Definitely not.
And the plot! Boy-oh-boy, what a plot! Kaylee runs off to the hospital nearest her home because she's got the sense that something is terribly wrong with her hunky bff, who, in the previous two books, has been suffering some major paralysis due to a raging infection. I loved how Turner included what was wrong with Davey and kind of connected it to the entire series. It makes a heck of a lot of sense, that's for sure. The two reapers - one's white and the other is black - were mind-numbingly terrifying. Turner really knows how to create a warped story along with frightening and gruesome villains that really make you fearful of the dark. One reaper, if my memory serves me well, was responsible for imprisoning the souls of the patients in the hospital through making them ridiculously ill, trapping them in a comatose state, while the other was sort of like the 'Grim Reaper' - you know, that creepy thing that carts away your soul to the afterlife. However, the ghosts were a teensy-weensy bit disappointing to me. After those heart-pounding fiends in the first two books, the ghosts in this one, for me, were very unscary, though still chilling. I wanted to be scared out of my wits like I was in parts one and two, but that didn't happen for me in this one...
There were less Raphael scenes! There were, I tell you! But, on the bright side, Raphael's feelings toward Kaylee are bit more, shall we say, obvious (more like plain as flipping day!), which was definitely nice. But, the reason I'm so conflicted now, is because of that oh-so-sweet-and-love-me-tender kiss shared between Kaylee and Davey. Throughout the book, Kaylee is struggling with the sudden realization that she's in love with her best friend, or at least in like/crush mode, and I found it adorable and heartwarming and frankly kind of hot. So, now I'm frustratingly torn! Especially since Davey's by the end of the story is no longer confined to his wheelchair, adding to his profound delectableness. You'd think since Raphael's a gorgeous angel, nothing and no one could top him, but I was so very wrong! I guess, if there is another installment, then I'll be able to decide more easily! (Though, between you and me, I'm sort of swaying toward Team Davey, but Shh! don't tell anyone!)
The book went from dark and mind-numbing to insane when Molok came into the picture. I was so creeped out when he appeared in his Satanic red robe and started saying some freaky things to Kaylee. Then, when Davey came to be controlled by Molok and got all slam-you-down-and-punch-and-kick-you-'til-you-pass-out-but-don't-forget-I-would-never-let-anything-happen-to-you-Kaylee like, I was even more scared. (Me Kaylee. You Davey. No hurt Kaylee.) The beatings were so shocking! But, it really proved how much these demon villains can really tamper with the lives and beings of the ones Kaylee loves! Then, when Molok possessed Kaylee's temporarily soulless body and almost killed Kaylee's parents I was thoroughly panicked and petrified. The intensity factor made me think of better of this book, for sure. And it got even better when Kaylee's mom started to believe that there was something definitely spiritually wrong with her child, believe about the angels and demons and in Madame Maggie - things definitely picked up. But, what bummed me out, was the fact it took a little too long to get to that point.
Overall, it was a pretty good and satisfying read. Though, I will say that I was expecting a bit more from the ending, considering that kiss between Davey and Kaylee, but we can't all have everything we want (including random make-out sessions and declarations of love between the two main characters). For crying out loud, give me the mind-blowing romance already! Hear this Turner, I want to see more in the next installment!
"'I have less than two days left to live.'
'This is not your time. You will find your way.' He gently brushed tears from her cheeks and whispered, 'You are so beautiful.'
A little thrill went through [Kaylee]...
Raphael kissed her forehead, and not like a big brother. His hand wound into the back of her hair, lifting he strands the same way Davey had back in the cavern. Eyes closed, she shivered as he tendrils tickled her nape. She tilted her face into his hand, but there was nothing there." (140)
"That was the Davey she was falling in love with.Thanks for reading!
A sweet whisper of breath crossed her lips. They tingled in anticipation, her pulse thrummed, every part of her alert. He kissed her. Soft, fresh, and tender, the kiss, conveyed love and yearning. She curled her hand into his shirt. The glittering sensation spread through her chest and into every part of her limbs until she was hyperaware of everything." (164)